Modern Hamlet

Visiting the Shakespeare Capital, Stratford Upon Avon, I enjoyed watching Hamlet and Cymbeline. Hamlet however, did have many inconsistencies that I did not appreciate as much.

The director of Hamlet really tired to put a modern spin the show by modernizing it. This is evident with Hamlet’s graduation where there are prospect college sweaters, a podium with a microphone and graduation caps; all which were not around in the 1600’s. While modernizing the play the director also used a Black cast for the production. The inconsistency were with the elements used from different Black cultures, Jamaican (dancing/music) and Kenyan (clothing). I am not sure what the director was aiming to do with blending the cultures but personally it also confused me because the play was set in Denmark.

Despite the cultural inconsistencies, I was able to find some appreciation in how the director used colors to symbolize death. Through out the play we see Gertrude and Claudius wearing a red-wined color garments.  I believe this wine color was supposed to represent the forecasted blood shed caused by Claudius’ and Gertude’s throne desire. At the end we see this red wine color on Laertes, Claudius, Gertrude and Hamlet when they  die.